Vice President Pence will chair the meeting
On January 6, according to the 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate must convene a joint meeting at 1 p.m. to count the results of the state electoral college votes.
In the joint meeting of the two houses, US Vice President Mike Pence will preside as the Speaker of the Senate. However, under special circumstances, the Senate’s president interim (the highest member of the majority party) will preside over the meeting in place of the vice president, and the Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley will serve as the interim president.
In 1968, the Democratic candidate and then Vice President Hubert Humphrey lost to Nixon during the presidential campaign. At the meeting that year, Humphrey was absent to participate in the first UN Secretary-General Treff. Lee’s funeral, and therefore his duties, was presided over by the interim Speaker Daniel De Gaulle (Richard Russell).
The process and potential options of the public election certificate
According to the constitutional procedure, the vice president should “publicly elect the certificate, and then count the votes.” “The person with the highest number of votes shall be the president.”
Regarding this procedure, Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert believes that Pence should have the right to choose the certification in the process, and the Democrats countered that this is just a ritual process. Gomert previously filed a lawsuit against Pence’s “exclusive power” in the Texas Federal Court, requiring the court to declare that Pence can decide to count alternative electoral votes instead of having to count the disputed state government electoral votes. The relevant lawsuit was rejected by the court on the grounds that “the court has no authority to rule the case.”
On December 14, 50 states submitted election certificates. Each state will provide a certificate to Washington. At the same time, the Republican Electoral Colleges in seven states announced a substitute vote to provide a legal basis for the Trump team’s lawsuit.
Fox News believes that Pence may be able to choose to “issue” election certificates under the Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution. According to the situation in 1960, in the presidential election between President John F. Kennedy and future President Richard Nixon, Congress adopted alternative electoral votes for the votes of Hawaii. The replacement ticket was signed by the governor like the official ticket. However, Hawaii was not a decisive state at the time, and Kennedy would win the White House regardless of Hawaii’s ownership.
Election votes from 50 states enter the House of Congress through mahogany boxes. The vice president read aloud the ballots of each state in alphabetical order. There will be no problems in Alabama and Alaska.
But when the third state: Arizona, disputes may arise, the next states that will have disputes may include Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
According to the “Election Counting Act”, at least one petitioner from each of the House of Representatives and the Senate must object to the state’s electoral votes, and the objections must be submitted in writing.
When the Arizona Electoral College votes are announced, if members of the House of Representatives and Senate jointly challenge the state’s Electoral College votes, the joint meeting will be suspended. The House of Representatives and the Senate will hold meetings one after another. During the two-hour period, the House of Representatives and the Senate will debate elections in Arizona or other swing states.
Within two hours, members can speak for up to five minutes. The House of Representatives and the Senate then vote separately. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate must reject the state’s electoral votes, which will result in the invalidation of the electoral college votes in the disputed state, otherwise the disputed votes will be credited. After completing the procedures, the two houses continue to meet in the joint meeting.
The House of Representatives currently has 432 members, 222 Democrats, 210 Republicans and 3 vacancies. There are 51 Republicans and 48 Democratic senators in the Senate. The current term of Senator Budo of Joe State has expired, and his vacancy may change after January 5.
Epidemic control or extended time voting procedures may take up to several days
In addition, the congressional epidemic control plan will also be a key factor.
Fox News pointed out that due to the quarantine and absenteeism caused by the epidemic, the attendance of parliamentarians is completely uncertain. The House of Representatives had previously restored the “remote voting” system of the 117th Congress, but this method could not be used during the electoral college vote certification period. The Senate will not use the option of remote voting.
At the first meeting of the House of Representatives on January 3, the House of Representatives required members of the House of Representatives to maintain social distancing, so only 72 members were able to vote in the lobby each time, which greatly slowed the voting time.
Therefore, it may take several hours to challenge the Electoral College votes, and the final proof of voting may not end until the early morning of January 7. Considering that there is a two-hour debate on the challenge of each state, the relevant process may continue to be extended, and it may take several days.
The Electoral Counting Act does allow adjournment. However, the House of Representatives and the Senate are not allowed to dissolve the joint meeting of Congress until the electoral college votes are verified. Moreover, Congress must resolve the issue within five days.
Every member of Congress will make a public position
In addition, each state’s disputed ballot will trigger a roll call, recording the positions of the members of both houses, as well as the positions of the electors in Pennsylvania or Michigan.
Some politicians are worried that announcing their support or disapproval of the electoral challenge may cause political impact, thereby hurting political careers and regional voter support.
U.S. Senator McConnell repeatedly asked Republican senators to stay away from challenges to the election. He said that these practices would affect the political future of the Republican Party. However, after that, at least 12 senators announced that they would challenge the election results. These congressmen pointed out that a large number of American voters are expressing concerns about the integrity of the election results. As elected members, they will stand up and issue questions. In the House of Representatives, dozens of members have formally announced the challenge of election.
All in all, whether it is for the electoral vote of the disputed state or against, every member of Congress must declare a position. This process is open and the voting will be conducted at the meeting.